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The Monster Squad Blu-ray Review

The Monster Squad Blu-ray

“The Monster Squad” is a bona fide cult classic.

The plot: A group of monster obsessed kids (Sean, Patrick, Rudy, Horace, Phoebe and Eugene), Sean’s police officer father, a Beagle named Pete, and a scary German guy band together to stop legendary monsters (the Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Brides of Dracula) from destroying a powerful amulet. If the kids fail in their quest, the monsters will have free reign to take over the world.

If you were a child of the 80’s, chances are high that you saw “The Monster Squad.” While the film didn’t light up the box office, it became a cult classic on video and on TV and it’s not hard to see why. On paper, you’d think ‘Squad’ would just be a mere kid’s film, but it’s far from it. ‘Squad’ has something for everyone as it’s a mixture of “Ghostbusters” and “The Goonies” with Universal Monsters. In fact, the film never panders to children and is rather dark and violent at times. ‘Squad’ really embraces its PG-13 rating as it contains character deaths, blood, creepy and intense monster attacks, as well as profanities.

Personally, I think the adult tone and horror centric script is one of the main reasons why the film has endured for so many years. Rather than seeing a Disneyfied kid centric film as we so often do, ‘Squad’ opted to go a different route with a story that is clearly a love letter to the horror genre. To this day, there’s not a ton of horror entertainment for children under 13, but writer/director Fred Dekker and co-writer Shane Black (who will co-write and direct the upcoming “Iron Man 3”) wisely created a story that tapped into this niche. The film (and the script for that matter) is never too scary for younger viewers as Dekker managed to make the movie come off as a fun, creepy, and exciting ride filled with great Stan Winston creature F/X and classic horror references galore.

Really, the only downside to ‘Squad’ is that the film wasn’t a bigger hit. It would have been fun to see a sequel or two as these characters deserved further adventures.

Video/Audio:

The film, which is presented in 2.35:1 1080p, does have its fair share of grain and dirt specs, but it’s still a step above the DVD transfers. You will undoubtedly notice more clarity in scenes like the climactic confrontation with the monsters, but there are some scenes that don’t look quite as impressive. In other words, the transfer is impressive, but not flawless.

While some fans may be disappointed by the lack of a 5.1 track, the DTS-HD 2.0 track still delivers for the most part. Yes, the track can be a bit soft in parts, but the more action heavy scenes (like the ending) certainly come alive via the speakers.

No extras have been included on this disc. If you want to view some extras, you’re going to have to track down the out of print Lionsgate Blu-ray (or DVD) edition.

Summary: Whether you are a longtime fan of “The Monster Squad” or someone who has never seen it, you should certainly pick up this Blu-ray disc.

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March 6, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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